The staffing industry in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts

Staffing firms operate within the business services industry, finding workers for client companies. Unlike recruitment companies, staffing firms primarily deal with temporary and contract job positions, although not necessarily exclusively. Staffing firms find temporary employees to fill job positions for client companies which require staff for short term work assignments. These positions, which are usually for lower skilled jobs, have vacancies available for a variety of reasons, such as, maternity leave, short term projects or periods of high demand in the company. Despite the candidate working within a client company, they often remain an employee of the staffing agency. This is not the case in all positions, as the employee may go on to be hired permanently by the client company.

The global staffing industry generated 428 billion U.S. dollars in 2016. In that same year, the United States' staffing and recruiting industry sales reached 150 billion U.S. dollars, 85 percent of which was generated in the temporary and contract employment sector. In the United States, temporary and contract employment totaled 14.5 million in 2016, down from 15.6 million in 2015, the highest employment figure recorded since the year 2000. While employment figures have been sporadic between 2000 and 2016, the average length of temporary and contract assignments have generally risen over the period from 9.7 weeks in 2000 to 11.5 weeks in 2016.

Despite the U.S. holding a large share of the global staffing industry, the largest staffing firm in the world is not American, it is the Swiss company Adecco. In 2016, the company’s revenue amounted to 22.5 billion U.S. dollars, with the largest share of its business generated in the industrial sector. The largest U.S. company in the ranking is Manpower which generated over 19.6 billion U.S. dollars in revenue in 2016. Manpower placed approximately three million people into permanent, temporary and contract positions worldwide during the same year.

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